Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Still alive, still kicking

I got quite the surprise yesterday to receive not one but two queries about my blog absence. Fancy that! People read my blog!

A whole kaleidoscope of events have got between me and my sewing machine and me and the computer. It's pretty simple, actually, time and energy - never enough of either. Oh and a difficult project that I am a little lost in.

I am working on the Ottobre sheath dress from the 05/2012 - appropriately named "old school teacher" dress. You have got to hand it to Ottobre, they know their market well.

It relies on perfect fit to achieve any kind of class. The plan was to make a quick test garment and adjust only I got stymied by my fabric which turned out not to be a "Nick dog" (that's what Nick calls the worst of the detritus in his shop) but a Nick pure breed. Pure wool gabardine. Suddenly it had to be unpicked and resewn with respect. Gabardine is not the easiest fabric either - it's easy to under or over press. The dress oscillates between darts that hardy hold their crispness to steam puckers around the zip. Hardly any of the seams are 'just so.'

Still I persist and I hope my diligence shall be rewarded with a beautifully fitted sheath dress that looks more 'school mam chic' than 'old teacher.'

In the meantime, I have some more unpicking on it to do, so it won't be until well after Easter.

I did make a pair of corduroy trousers (Burda 7738). They are a little pajama like in their appearance and in their comfort level, so I feel very on trend. (am I the only person out there to mock the current fashion for night wear as day wear?)

I do also want to share with you some fabric purchases, which I hope you will enjoy. I went to Dunedin last week for a family celebration and popped into the Caroll St branch of the Presbyterian Support Services charity shop. They collect all fabric donated to them over the year and have a big sale one Saturday in June. They kindly let me browse out the back of the shop in storage those fabrics yet to be sent to the warehouse. I found these 4 lovely fabrics.

1 piece of NZ milled wool, complete with label for you to sew into your garment (how thoughtful), in Granny lavender
2 dress length pieces of wool crepe
1 piece of Irish tweed.

Aren't they lovely? The great thing about Dunedin is that vintage wool is perfectly preserved, not even a hint of moth damage. I never once growing up had to worry about weevils in my rice, moths in my cupboards or ants in my sugar. The cold climate sure has its advantages, even bugs like to eat their meals in comfort.


  1. I love your trousers, two of my favourites, corduroy and floral combined. I'm with you on the pyjama-style day wear though, it's just asking to be mocked.

  2. Yup, your floral trousers are NOW. Looking good!!
    Well done with the fabrics, that's really quite a good idea of the opshop's, to do a big fabric sell-off all at once.
    Hope you have success with your dress!

  3. I like your trousers but I'd like to see the whole outfit, to get the perspective right.

    I admire your attempts to get a perfectly fitting sheath...I don't seem to have the sewing attention span for that at the moment, flitting from project to project.

  4. You may have got the beautiful fabrics but may I remind you that I got the Otago Tartan Scarf tra la la la la la la la la la. I believe that gloating is also very 'on trend' for this season.

  5. The floral cords look good to me and yes they are very on trend. You are becoming a style icon Mary Nanna! I love love the stash of material, it's a great find.

  6. I love printed cord! No, you're not the only one to mock nightwear as daywear; I take every opportunity I can to laugh at this idea. I want to come and steal the granny lavender wool, it's gorgeous.

  7. You have really nailed it with those trousers: floral, corduroy and flares. Why does it work so well? They should be dreadful but they're not. I think I love them

  8. I am in a state of serious fabric envy for your latest score, gorgeous stuff. I never (okay, almost never) find stuff that good in a charity shop. Looking forward to seeing what they turn into.

  9. What beautiful wools! I am looking forward to seeing your take on a chic school marm! I hope your diligence is rewarded.

  10. So glad you are still alive!
    You and your sister are a riot. When you have family get togethers it must be like comedy hour.
    Nice cords! I love a good pair of cords.

  11. I am so behind the times - nightwear as daywear - so you just get out of bed and you are good to go ? Great - off to make some more nighties. ( what about foot wear - are scuffs and slippers in too ?)

  12. PS Does mocking fashion ever go out of fashion ?

  13. I love the corduroy fabric. Where did you get it? And yes, people definitely read your blog! I'm always thrilled to see you've a new post up.

  14. Welcome back! Gotta say I like the cords. I just got back from a trip to the mainland USA and brought back some fabric too. Adding to the stash is so much fun! Good luck with finishing the sheath dress.

  15. Love those trousers - the fabric is great! I am making a few things from that same ottobre issue - probably simpler, but I do love the names - cool hippy top and romantic notes...

  16. I'm loving the new Women's Otto magazine. I bought it even though I'm no longer subscribed. I look forward to seeing your Granny Sheath (:

  17. That is some beautiful new fabric stash! Your jeans are very cool. Very flower power. I do love me some flares.

  18. Utterly envy inducing fabric score, as usual. I appreciated your sister's gloating, as it made me feel a little less jealous.
    Your cords look great.
    I have a project of doom haunting my sewing room. I hope your sheath is better behaved.

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